In an emergency call 999

General enquiries call 0300 330 1000

Prepare for emergencies

In a real life emergency, knowing a few safety tips will help you to stay calm and help yourself and others. Remember not to put yourself in danger and alert the emergency services as soon as possible. School planning will take care of your children's safety in an emergency.

General advice

In a major emergency, if you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, the best advice is to go inside a safe building, stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise, and tune in to local radio or TV for information.

Of course, there are always going to be particular occasions when you should not 'go in', for example if there is a fire, or you are advised differently by the emergency services or your own common sense.

If you find yourself in the middle of an emergency, your common sense and instincts will usually tell you what to do. However, it is important to:

  • Make sure 999 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life
  • Not put yourself or others in danger
  • Follow the advice of the emergency services
  • Try to remain calm and think before acting, and try to reassure others
  • Check for injuries - remember to help yourself before attempting to help others

If you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, in most cases the advice is:

  • Go inside a safe building
  • Stay inside until you are advised to do otherwise
  • Tune in to local radio or TV for more information

Local radio stations

  • BBC Radio Stoke - 94.6FM
  • Signal One - 102.6FM
  • Signal Two - 1170AM
  • BBC Radio Derby - 104.5FM/1116FM
  • BRMB - 96.4FM
  • BBC Radio Shropshire - 96.0FM
  • BBC Radio West Midlands - 95.6FM
  • Touch FM - 101.6FM/102.4FM

What to do if you're child is at school

If your children are at school you will naturally want to collect them as soon as possible in the event of a major emergency. But it may not be safe to do so. Please tune in to your local radio station for advice and for details of the arrangements your local council has made for letting parents know when to collect their children from school.

All schools have plans to cope with local emergencies such as fire and flood, and teachers and support staff do all they can to look after the pupils in their charge.


Making an emergency plan will help you to be more organised and remain calm during an emergency. This checklist covers advice from making sure you have a contact list to finding out about the emergency procedures for your children at school.

Planning for an emergency

To prepare for an emergency, you should take time to find out:

  • Where and how to turn off water, gas and electricity supplies in your home
  • The emergency procedures for your children at school
  • The emergency procedures at your workplace
  • How your family will stay in contact in the event of an emergency
  • If any elderly or vulnerable neighbours might need your help
  • How to tune in to your local radio station

Download and complete the household emergency plan.

At home in an emergency

If you are at home and an emergency happens, try to gather together:

  • A list of useful phone numbers, such as your doctor's and close relatives'
  • Home and car keys
  • Toiletries, sanitary supplies and any regularly prescribed medication
  • A battery radio, with spare batteries
  • A torch with spare batteries, candles and matches
  • A first aid kit
  • Your mobile phone
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Spare clothes and blankets
  • Bottled water, ready-to-eat food (eg tinned food) and a bottle/tin opener, in case you have to remain in your home for several days

Leaving your home during an emergency

In certain very unlikely situations, you may be asked to leave your home by the emergency services. If this happens, leave as quickly and calmly as possible. And, if you have time:

  • Turn off electricity, gas and water supplies, unplug appliances and lock all doors and windows
  • Take the items listed above
  • If you leave by car, take bottled water and blankets
  • Tune in to local radio for emergency advice and instructions

Returning home after an emergency

  • When you are told that it is safe to return home, open windows to provide fresh air before reconnecting gas, electricity and water supplies.

First aid

First aid can treat all sorts of minor bumps and scrapes, but you should see a doctor for more serious accidents. Knowing first aid could also be life saving in an emergency before the emergency services arrive.

First aid kits

Your first aid kit could include:

  • Plasters
  • Bandages
  • Safety pins or tape
  • Pain relievers (paracetamol or aspirin) - always read the label and follow the instructions for use very carefully; there are special child versions available
  • Medical spoon/syringe for giving babies and children their medicines - these are more accurate and much safer than a teaspoon
  • Antiseptic lotion or saline for cleaning wounds
  • Cotton wool
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers (for splinters)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Sun block (factor 25 or higher for children)
  • Child insect repellent

Keep your medical kit high up and out of reach of children.

You may choose to have two kits: a large one that stays at home and a smaller emergency kit for when you go out.

Basic first aid advice

The NHS website have some basic first aid advice.

Further information

For more information about being prepared in an emergency go to the official Staffordshire prepared website.

Public guidance is available in the event of firearms and weapons attacks on the NPCC website.